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Thank you for visiting. Content MAY BE TRIGGERING ESPECIALLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE EXPERIENCED ABUSE, STRUGGLE WITH SELF-INJURY, SUICIDE, DEPRESSION OR AN EATING DISORDER. Contains graphic descriptions of suicidal thoughts, self-injury and emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Do not read further if you are not in a safe place. If you are triggered, please reach out to your support system, a mental health professional or call 911.

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Disclaimer: Although I have worked with persons with mental illness for twenty years, I do not have a Master's Degree or a license. This is not meant to be a substitute for mental health care or treatment. Please obtain professional assistance from the resources listed on the right of the page, if needed. And call 911 if you or someone is in immediate danger.

A key word that you will see:

Fragmentation: a mental process where a person becomes intensely emotionally focused on one aspect of themselves, such as “I am angry” or “no one loves me,” to the point where all thoughts, feelings and behavior demonstrate this emotional state, in which, the person does not or is unable to take into account the reality of their environment, others or themselves and their resources. This is a term that my therapist and I use and is on the continuum of dissociation.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Self-hatred and Borderline Personality Disorder

I want to give you some background of what was going on in therapy prior to Christmas. My therapist and I started to talk about my self-hatred and self-loathing. Previously, we had talked about how my whole world is filtered through “I am bad.”
However, the truer statement is that everything in my world gets filtered through my self-hatred. I am beginning to see how so much I do is rooted in that from my perfectionism, self-injury, eating disorder, “I am bad,” suicidal thoughts and the list goes on.

In trying to work with this issue, all of my defenses have been really active. I am ultra sensitive to anything that I can perceive as a criticism which is everything. I can turn everything into “I am bad.” My fragmenting, dissociation, suicidal thoughts and self-injury urges have all increased.

My sense of grounding seems elusive. It is like I can only hold on to it for a very short period of time. I am also really wanting to withdraw from everything and everyone for fear that I will say or do the wrong thing.
This is a very painful place to be in and the only way to feel better is to work through this. Not my idea of fun. My self-hatred is also impacted by my major depression and post traumatic stress disorder. They are actually all intertwined, but my self-hatred has its roots in my borderline personality disorder which was established in infancy. The following are some excerpts that are helpful in explaining how self-hatred and borderline personality disorder interact and why healing takes so long.
Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder by Richard Moskovitz

"When you are bad, you may feel entitled to nothing. You may feel responsible for all that is evil and expect punishment. If punishment does not come, you may invite it from others or inflict it on yourself".
Borderline Personality Disorder Articles by A.J. Mahari, BPD and self-hate, BPD from the inside out
"Borderlines are well known for self-hate. The irony is they often don't know who they really are. The question is who is his "self-hate" really directed at? Working through this self-hate is the only way to find your true self and to stop living such a life of pain and angst.

The "self" that most borderlines hate is really not who they are. It is an over-identification with who they think they are based upon having taken over the role of their past abusers or of those who neglected them and/or could not/did not meet their needs as young children.

It is not possible to get the real you without first going through the pain of why you have created more of your identity from someone else than from within. This is usually the result of buse, neglect, unmet needs, denial and having your feelings repeatedly invalidated. The process to find your real self can be long and difficult. It is a worth-while process though because it will free you from hating the self that you think you are. The self that is really modeled more on someone else from your past.

Healing from BPD, in large part, means maturing emotionally in ways that you were not able to due to unmet needs and or abuse when you were younger. It also involves changing thought patterns which will lead to changes in behaviour and then changes in how you feel which will lead to a re-newed sense of who you really are.

Self-hate is a waste of precious time. Life will pass you by if you
stay there. You will not be happy. You will not be fulfilled. Truthfully, if you hate yourself, whatever aspect of identity that means for you, you will not be able to be open and present enough for others to truly love you. Self-hate for many borderlines is not as much about actual hate of "self" as it is about actual hate of not knowing who one's "self" really is.

This tranistional place can very much resemble classic borderline NO-WIN and is therefore very hard to push through. You need to push through it to change your self-hatred for your false self to a burgeoning like of the real self that will begin to emerge with a choice to change. And having been through it I can attest to the fact that it is not a NO-WIN situation at all. It is the most wonderful thing that you can do for your real 'self'!"
I hope this helps explain a bit about what has been going on and why it is so difficult for me to post, leave comments and respond to comments on the blog. I am really trying to push through, but sometimes my brain is foggy, I don’t have the energy or I can’t fight through all the negative stuff in my head. However, I am thinking that Monday, I will be able to write about Christmas.

12 comments:

Snow White Queen said...

Don't hate yourself. You are a strong woman and even though I have never seen you before you are beautiful as well. I admire you more than you know. Stay strong and the great person that you are.

Melinda said...

Dear CC--Feeling "I am bad" is one of the most lasting and omnipresent characteristics of people who have suffered childhood abuse--and without a doubt, this has been the hardest thing for me to overcome (and I still have to work on it constantly).

When you are abused, you believe that you deserve to be--and that results (of course) in feeling we are bad (when we aren't, of course). When I start beating myself up and feel that familiar old self-loathing returning, I try to stop those negative thought patterns--rather than letting them take on a life of their own). We CAN control our thoughts--but of course, it takes diligence--major changes in our self-beliefs never come easy.

Happy New Year to you, Dear Friend--I feel our friendship is one of the most important ones I have developed in 2008--and I am so grateful for it.

Take care, CC--

Melinda

Clueless said...

@Snow White Queen. Thank you.

@Melinda. Thank you that was helpful. My therapist shares a similar experience of this too. But, I just wish I would stop fragmenting so badly and could just stay grounded.

I am so grateful for you also, my friend.

Hugs,
CC

Tamara (TC) said...

Clueless,

I am sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time. I can understand, in a minimal way compared to what you feel, that tendency to perceive everything as criticism and feeling that I am bad. It is such a horrible feeling. What impresses me is that you are so aware and so honest about what you are feeling and the way your mind works. It may not feel as if you are making progress at times but I believe you have come along way. And, you have touched so many survivors and helped us understand the way we have reacted to our abuse. I am praying for the day that you don't torment yourself any longer. You deserve to be completely happy and healthy.

Try to be gentle with yourself and praise yourself for how far you have come.

Hugs,
Tamara

Amy said...

Thinkng of you and praying, regarding all that you are working through. You can do it...and you are so brave...and your words give me hope for the others in my family who were abused and suffer from BPD as a result. Thank you, dear one.

svasti said...

CC, thanks so much for this post.

I think one of the biggest challenges for those of us dealing with mental illness, is effectively explaining what we're going through. What it's really like inside those awful times.

Personally I don't feel like I've reached that place yet.

But definitely, this post helps me understand much more about what happens in your world.

Hang in there!!

And let me say this - you can hate yourself all you like... but the rest of us won't. We love ya!! xo

Clueless said...

@Tamara. It is good to hear from you. Thank you. It is so easy for me to love my clients or others compared to myself. I know you understand some. It helps me to feel not so alone.

@Amy. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. It feels good to know that my blog helps especially when I think of giving it up.

@Svasti. Thanks...you mean I can't get rid of you? :-) I is so hard to put into words what goes on inside my heart and my head. However, it you heard it, it would be too much...constant stuff. Quiet would be nice. I really appreciate your friendship.

Annie World said...

You have to remember that sometimes those who seem strong are the first to fall hard. We all hate ourselves in some way. Its only human to do so. But always pick yourself up and learn to appreciate yourself.

Untreatableonline said...

I know from personal experience that it is an ongoing battle that takes a lot of time and couch therapy to get passed. For me it is important to recognize when my brain is trying to destroy me and throw an emergency plan into the works. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not but as long as I keep trying eventually I will get passed it and so will you

Clueless said...

@Annie's world. Thank you.

@Untreatable. Thanks that really gives me some hope because right now it is so automatic and much of the time it is unconscious. So, I think, how am I ever going to change if I don't know it is happening. Thanks for the hope. I will give it the time it needs.

CC

Sunny said...

My very Dear Clueless, I'm so very blessed to have stumbled across your site!!!I too have BPD, PTSD Complex,Major Depressive Disorder and OCD,but for the 1st time,@ 58,
I see a glimmer of the light of understanding as 2 why I hate myself so intensely, and maybe too,why. I want 2 come here often and read about U, about us...w/ no
friends/family,no 1 to talk to, I spend all of my days in some cloud of confusion&self-abuse,but still, maybe I can find out who I really am??? Thank you for your inspiring courage & bravery!!!!

Clueless said...

Sunny,

I'm glad that you found my site and it makes you feel less alone. Thank you for the compliments and you keep moving and growing. Be good to yourself.

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